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Tag: Quality

Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

I recently read an article (a case study) about “Lean Six Sigma” in a publication. It’s not online, so I can’t link to it, nor do I really want to call them out by name. I didn’t like the article, in part, because it used the old, tired (and wrong) idea that “Six Sigma is […]

By September 10, 2013 18 Comments Read More →
How Often Does This Get Repeated? CMS and the Underpants Gnomes

How Often Does This Get Repeated? CMS and the Underpants Gnomes

I’ve recently heard of a scenario in healthcare that I suspect is pretty common, or at least it’s not the first time I’ve heard of this scenario. There have been stories in the news, but without naming names and without any inside information, here is what is reported to have happened in one of these […]

By September 5, 2013 9 Comments Read More →
Gemba Wine: A Lean Geek Visits Wineries, Part 3

Gemba Wine: A Lean Geek Visits Wineries, Part 3

Following up on my previous posts (here and here) on a recent visit to the Northern California Wine Country, I’m going to share a few more ideas and thoughts based on what I saw during the trip (when I wasn’t tasting wine with my wife). What’s the Right Pricing? As in any industry, a winery […]

By August 28, 2013 2 Comments Read More →
Gemba Wine: A Lean Geek Visits Wineries, Part 2

Gemba Wine: A Lean Geek Visits Wineries, Part 2

Growing grapes and making wine is certainly an art… but when you look into it there’s a lot of process involved. As I wrote about a bit last week, my wife and I recently spent two days in Sonoma County and two days in Napa County, California. She would cringe if I called these “gemba […]

By August 26, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
ALWAYS Check Two Identifiers – In a Hospital or a Casino

ALWAYS Check Two Identifiers – In a Hospital or a Casino

In hospitals, there’s a big emphasis on healthcare professionals always checking TWO patient identifiers to help avoid getting the wrong patient. You might have two patients with the same name, so you should also check the birth date (since it’s less likely to have two people with the same name and birth date… but not […]

By August 14, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
New Website: AskMeIf.com, Buttons That Put the Quality Burden on Customers

New Website: AskMeIf.com, Buttons That Put the Quality Burden on Customers

I’ve been writing for a long time  that I think it’s inappropriate and ineffective to ask patients and families to inspect or police hand hygiene in hospital settings. It’s the job of healthcare leaders to create systems that include enough time for nurses, doctors, and others to properly practice hand hygiene in the name of […]

Rather than Blaming Employees, Managers Must Take Responsibility for Problems – in a Taco Joint, a Hospital, or a Factory

Rather than Blaming Employees, Managers Must Take Responsibility for Problems – in a Taco Joint, a Hospital, or a Factory

I published a piece on Monday over at LinkedIn as part of their “Influencers” series: Rather than Blaming Employees, Managers Must Take Responsibility for Problems – in a Taco Joint, a Hospital, or a Factory Please check it out and feel free to comment there or here on the blog… The piece starts: When any […]

My Article on Lean Healthcare, Employee & Patient Safety in QHSE Focus

My Article on Lean Healthcare, Employee & Patient Safety in QHSE Focus

QHSE Focus, an iPad magazine, asked me to contribute a piece on Lean healthcare. They published my piece titled, “Employee & Patient Safety: The Only Moral Place to Start with Lean in Healthcare.” You can read a PDF of the article, thanks to the publishers at QHSE Focus. The PDF also contains the table of […]

Service and Quality Start with Who?

Service and Quality Start with Who?

A Lean thinking friend’s wife had emergency surgery (she is going to be fine) and my friend sent some pictures of Lean-related things he saw at the hospital. The good included: Sheets posted on the wall to get staff input on some proposed process changes In-room patient info whiteboards that were actually being used and […]

Toyota’s Jamie Bonini on Organizational Culture

Toyota’s Jamie Bonini on Organizational Culture

Last week at the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit, I really enjoyed the presentation by Jamie Bonini,  General Manager of the  Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC). Jamie started his career at Chrysler (where he knew Jamie Flinchbaugh, a good friend of this blog) and both Jamies, like me, are graduates of the MIT Leaders for […]

Negligent People or a Bad System Leading to Surgical Errors?

Negligent People or a Bad System Leading to Surgical Errors?

A woman has the wrong side of her brain operated on. The headline features the hospital’s name and the surgeon’s name. It seems the “name, blame, and shame” process has begun. SSM Health Care St. Louis, Dr. Armond Levy face lawsuit after wrong-side brain surgery In complex systems, like healthcare, is it overly simplistic to […]

Apple Expected 10% Bad iPhones from Foxconn?

Apple Expected 10% Bad iPhones from Foxconn?

I’d read before that Apple’s supplier (Foxconn) was having trouble assembling iPhone 5s to Apple’s standards… but this article contains some shocking stats: “Apple Returns Millions of Defective iPhone 5 Smartphones.” Millions… 5 to 8 million defective phones returned. Foxconn has only been able to achieve an 80% quality rating… suggesting 2 in 10 have […]

Shorter MD Intern Work Hours – Quality Has Gotten Worse (Unless it Hasn’t)

Shorter MD Intern Work Hours – Quality Has Gotten Worse (Unless it Hasn’t)

In recent years, there’s been a movement away from having first-year residents work such long grueling hours – 24 hour shifts or longer, multiple days in a row on call, etc. The idea was that fatigued residents were making poor decisions and mistakes, leading to patient harm. It seems reasonable, since who performs really well […]

Lean Healthcare is About Quality – a Falsehood, a Wise CEO, and JAMA Data

Lean Healthcare is About Quality – a Falsehood, a Wise CEO, and JAMA Data

I  always get annoyed when people spread the false dichotomy of “Lean is about efficiency and Six Sigma is for quality.” Replace the word “efficiency” with “speed” or “flow” and it’s still wrong. Here is an example of this falsehood in a book from a major publisher… this author refers to Lean addressing the first […]

Parody Video: So God Made a Quality Manager

Kudos to Mike Micklewright  for putting together this clever parody of the Chrysler ad that aired during the Super Bowl – Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer.” Here is “So God Made a Quality Manager”: My podcasts with Mike: #92: (6/3/10) Mike Micklewright,  Out of Another @#&*% Crisis! #43: (5/19/08)  Mike Micklewright  “What Would […]

Podcast #168 – Carolyn McCulley, “Breaking the Wall of Silence”

Podcast #168 – Carolyn McCulley, “Breaking the Wall of Silence”

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 26:21) My guest for episode #168 is Carolyn McCulley, from CityGate Films, and  she is a co-director and producer of the upcoming documentary called “Breaking the Wall of Silence.” Through March 31, you can sponsor this project through the Kickstarter website (with a minimum contribution of $15) […]

Waste in Healthcare –  Flushing Money Down the Toilet

Waste in Healthcare – Flushing Money Down the Toilet

As a reminder, I am giving a free Gemba Academy webinar tomorrow (Tuesday 3/12) on “Stories about the Eight Types of Waste in Healthcare.” Click here to learn more and sign up. I’m going to tell some stories from my own work and other stories that have made the news about different forms of waste […]

What Makes a Person Clean Drinking Glasses with Pledge? A Bad System

What Makes a Person Clean Drinking Glasses with Pledge? A Bad System

“A bad system, will defeat a good person, every time.” — W. Edwards Deming Would you polish drinking glasses at home with the furniture cleaner Lemon Pledge? Of course not – it’s got to be poisonous or at least harmful. Would you use Lemon Pledge to polish the glasses if you were a hotel housekeeper? […]

By February 18, 2013 2 Comments Read More →